Customers outside Scotts Valley’s city limits will soon be able to buy the city’s recycled wastewater.
The Scotts Valley City Council unanimously voted on Tuesday to move forward with an agreement with the city’s water district to sell the water for irrigation and construction purposes. Money from the sale will go toward the city's general fund.
According to Piret Harmon, general manager for the water district, requests have been coming in since early this year to buy recycled wastewater, mainly from construction companies and UC Santa Cruz. Scotts Valley’s excess of recycled water attracted the requests at a time when few other agencies had water to offer.
Harmon told the Santa Cruz Sentinel, “When we constructed the recycled water plant, we did it with excess capacity and thinking of the future. When you build highways, if you're a smart planner, you would build them four lanes wide even if in the beginning you only need one or two lanes."
Companies wanting to buy the water will have to carry it by the truck load in tanks with a capacity of 5,000 gallons. Harmon estimates the cost per truckload would average at $50, but it has not been officially determined.
Concerns have been raised regarding the trucks damaging Scotts Valley streets, prompting the city to request a surcharge be placed on the current cost of recycled water to compensate for any potential damage.
Future sales are expected to grow and contribute to the city’s general fund. Mayor Jim Reed told the Sentinel: "We all agree this is a great thing and yet another fruitful benefit with the water district."